My friend Jeremy recently bought me a beer glass on a recent trip. It’s not just any beer glass. It’s different than any other beer glass I’ve seen.
What makes it different is the curvature of the glass. The sides are slightly curved like an Irish Imperial Pint glass. But also the bottom has a nice rounded feature that makes this glass have a very nice feel in your hand.
I have a collection of about 30 pint glasses. I typically prefer the Shaker pint glass style with the straight walled sides. But I like to make exceptions for glasses when they’re awesome. This beer glass from Odell Brewing is awesome.
So today I wanted to write about different beer glass styles including what beer styles go in them. But as I was doing research I found a really nice infographic from a company that sells a hangover product (Revivol). And then I found a second one (from Central Restaurant Products) with a little more info and less graphics. I like them both. So instead of me typing a bunch of stuff, here are two pretty sweet infographics:
It’s gonna be 48 degrees here in Wisconsin today so that’s pretty awesome. Also awesome is that the college basketball tournament is approaching. I love the tournament because the kids playing college basketball put so much heart into it compared to professional sports where it’s more about money. But this website isn’t for writing about sportsball.
So let’s see what Boards & Barley I’ve enjoyed over the last week:
NEW! Snake River Vienna Lager
My friend Jeremy brought these back from a recent trip out west and graciously shared them with us. It was a very enjoyable beer and was characteristic of Vienna Lagers. I’d love to visit the brewery someday. By the looks of their website they’ve got a great brewpub.
- Gray’s 56 Oatmeal Stout
- NEW! Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils
- Revolution Anti-Hero IPA
- Homebrew – Rolling Dubbels
New Beer Count for 2015: 19
I had been wanting to play this game by Czech Games Edition for a while and was able to get it to the table at Board Game Night. Alchemists is like Clue except instead of having to figure out three things you need to figure out 8. And instead of having turns where you roll a 1 and move one space through the mansion you can do great stuff every turn. And instead of having the game end by someone making a lucky guess you play 6 rounds.
Alchemists was a ton of fun. The gameplay is great. The theme works really well. The deduction is intense. I lost badly but I seriously enjoyed the game. The only downsides for me were that there’s a pretty steep learning curve. The first play took us three hours. That included the time it took to teach, though. The bottom line was that I thoroughly enjoyed the game and I can’t wait to play Alchemists again.
- NEW! Robinson Crusoe – We got beat so badly that I’ll have to play again just so I can feature it as the BOARDS SPOTLIGHT without feeling like we played so poorly.
- Roll for the Galaxy
New Board Game Count for 2015: 14
Ziggurat is coming along nicely. I have been working on it feverishly so that I can have it ready for Protospiel-Milwaukee in April.
The problem that was mentioned about the game in it’s previous form was that if you weren’t building you were falling behind. And the first to build got the better bonuses so they could build better and faster and become a runaway leader. That was a bummer.
So I’ve come up with a new, more “Euro” system of playing this game. It will turn the game into more of a point-salad, “Feldian” type game, but those are the types of games I enjoy.
The solution I came up with changes the game slightly in that it is mildly less accessible since the learning curve is steeper. However, the game play should be much improved as there are more things to consider on each and every turn. The scoring conditions are also improved. In the previous version the win would all but be known when the game ended. I prefer that players not know who is going to win before the end of the game. This gives all players hope that they might somehow sneak out a victory. So I’ve changed it so that there are a lot more points counted at the end rather than during the game.
Overall I’m really excited about where this is going. I think there’s a lot of potential here. But ultimately, this game is a lot of fun to design.
So that’s what I’ve been up to. What Boards & Barley have you been enjoying?
Today I right a wrong. The wrong is that I’ve never blogged about Craftbeer.com. It is a traveshamockery that will be resolved today.
Why today? Because yesterday my buddy, Brett Myers, tweeted about some new awesomeness:
One of the questions I get asked frequently, and also ask of others, is, “What is your favorite beer style?” I often answer that anything Belgian is my favorite. I love Dubbels, Tripels, Saisons, etc. Then people ask what those are like. I usually mumble something about a floral character and distinct taste. But now I have a sweet resource to which I can refer people.
Craftbeer.com Style Guide
Yesterday Craftbeer.com posted a news release marking the launch of their new Beer Style Guide. This allows people to search for beer styles based on SRM (color), IBU (bitterness), and ABV (alcohol by volume). Here is a glimpse at the style selector:
By adjusting the sliders you can hone in on the styles that fit what you’re looking for.
Clicking on any style brings you to a page with much more information about it. Click here for the Belgian Dubbel page. The information pages are great. They tell you the average ranges for SRM, IBU, and ABV. They show the type of glass in which to serve that style. It’s just pure awesomeness.
In the past when I wanted to learn about beer styles I would visit Beer Advocate. Their style guide is nice and was my go-to source for years. In fact, I will still reference it when I need information regarding American Adjunct Lagers.
Have a great weekend and enjoy a brew or two!
It’s been two weeks since I posted anything. Yikes. Life is busy when you have three kids. But no excuses. I have four articles in draft form that i just need to polish off. Hopefully that will happen soon.
But today is Monday, the day we celebrate the awesome Boards & Barley we’ve been enjoying over the past week or so. I’ve played some good stuff lately and even had an enjoyable IPA. So let’s start, as usual, with the Barley…
NEW! Revolution Anti-Hero IPA
My friend Mark from Chicagoland brought this over when they visited a couple weekends ago. I have been trying to become more of an IPA drinker to mild success. This IPA, however, has a very nice and subtle sweetness to it that makes it more enjoyable for me. Thanks, Mark, for bringing it over!
- Homebrew – Rolling Dubbels Belgian Dubbel
- NEW! Valkyrie Big Swede Swedish Style Imperial Stout
- NEW! Lumberyard Flagstaff IPA
- NEW! Lakefront New Grist Sorghum Beer
- Tyranena Sheep Shagger Scotch Ale
- New Glarus Cabin Fever Honey Bock
- Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute
New Beer Count for 2015: 17
NEW! Roll for the Galaxy
I picked this up at my FLGS (Favorite Local Game Store) when I was demoing Scoville. I’ve always like Race for the Galaxy but I’m not sure I’ve ever totally understood it. There are so many icons and it’s not totally straight forward to me. Roll for the Galaxy is much more streamlined and understandable. I love how they incorporated the dice for choosing and completing actions. The dichotomy of developments versus worlds is much more clear than in Race. Overall I thought this was great and I imagine it will be hitting the table quite a bit!
- NEW! Terra Mystica - Whoa… there’s A LOT of game here. This is a very good and enjoyable Euro game where you can’t ever do as much as you want but you can still feel good about what you can accomplish. It takes a long time to play but I enjoyed it enough to want to play again.
- Mutiny Playtest
- Imperial Settlers
- NEW! Cinque Terre - I got this in a local Math Trade and played a 2p game. It’s pretty fun, very colorful, and I’d like to play with more than 2.
- NEW! Among the Stars – This is much better than I expected. This was also a 2p play so I’d like to try it with more, but I really enjoyed it. Plus, there are already a bunch of expansions so it’s got a lot of replayability.
- Wits and Wagers
- Sushi Go
- Camel Up
- Unpublished Prototype – Nuke it from Orbit
New Board Game Count for 2015: 12
Welcome back from a busy Valentine’s day weekend. I hope you all treated each other with love! My wife was out of town most of the day Saturday so I took part in a local Math Trade (where I received a Dixit expansion, Splendor, and Cinque Terre). Then we grabbed a pie from a local diner as a gift for my wife. Then some friends came over and we played Deus, which is inspiring me to build a deck-based engine builder game utilizing similar but unique mechanics.
Then yesterday I had the privilege of demoing Scoville at a local game store. A 13 year old loved Scoville and his grandpa ended up buying it for him. I hope it inspires him to become a gamer!
But you aren’t here to read about my weekend. You’re here to see what awesome Boards & Barley I’ve been enjoying! So let’s begin with the Barley…
Homebrew Belgian Dubbel
Despite having several new beers this past week I had to make my homebrew the spotlight this week. It is by far my best homebrew yet and finally one that I’m not at least mildly gun-shy about offering to people. It is really excellent. My colleague requested the recipe after I gave him a six-pack. And my friends actually enjoy it.
- Guinness Draught
- NEW! Weltenburger Barock Dunkel
- Tripel Karmeliet
- Deschutes Black Butte
- Flight: North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
- NEW! Flight: Wisconsin Brewing Betray Ale
- NEW! Flight: 3 Sheeps Cashmere Hammer
- NEW! Flight: Abita Andygator
- Flight: Blue Moon White
- NEW! Flight: Port Huron Hefeweizen
NEW BEER COUNT FOR 2015: 13
NEW! Madame Ching
There is a neat and interesting card mechanic where you utilize the cards in your hand to move your ship across the sea. Using a similar color as your previous card moves you straight across. Using a different colored card moves you diagonal down and across. The goal is to earn points, which is done most regularly by completing objectives, which are earned based on how far your expedition traveled across the sea.
I thought the artwork was nice and colorful. But the gameplay seemed really dependent on the cards you were able to procure. I found it difficult to put together a nice expedition. But I’d like to play it again to see if it was just a case of bad luck.
NEW BOARD GAME COUNT FOR 2015: 8
So what Boards & Barley have you been enjoying? Are there any games or brews you would like me to try? Just let me know!